Are you of the opinion that the use of "stock photos" in cookbooks, food magazines, menus, food blogs, food advertisements, and the like is tantamount to fraud when there exists, either subtly or strongly, the implication that the food-photos you are viewing are pictures of the actual food(s) you can create using an accompanying recipe, or are pictures that show a reasonable representation of the actual prepared food(s) that you will receive if you purchase the pictured product?
Well, I for one believe the widespread practice of using undisclosed "stock photos" should be banned for a variety of reasons, and I am not alone according to a recent article on NPR's website. Consumers are getting annoyed by this misleading practice.
The NPR article discusses the case of a Vegan (foods) website and magazine caught using stock photography of non-vegan foods to accompany vegan recipes: with their being a clear implication that the pictures they used were demonstrating their vegan recipes in action. CONTENT WARNING: NPR's site links to a blog (Quarrygirl) that "busted" the VegNews site/magazine, and that blog contains language not suitable for children.
Perhaps I should back up a bit and start by asking: are you familiar with the term "stock photos" and how such photos are used? Put simply: stock photos are pictures of nearly anything and any subject matter that are for sale to anyone that wants them — especially pictures of things that looks really good and look like a professional performed the layout and photo shoot. Sounds great, doesn't it? Just buy a wonderful looking photo to fill your needs! Sure saves time and effort of taking a great looking photo yourself.
But wait... what if you are telling everyone about this great new recipe you created and are unable (or unwilling) to take the time to snap a picture of your item; instead, you simply buy a picture of what you feel is an ideal representation of your food and then display that picture with your recipe and imply that what is pictured was the end result of you following that recipe to completion? Well, to me, this is where a serious line has been crossed!
For these reasons, the photos of all the desserts in our Wheat-Free and Gluten-Free Gourmet Desserts Recipes book are photos I took of the finished products that we baked ourselves and according to the recipes in the book. And, the photos of recipes on this Gluten-Free Blog and on our Gluten-Free Recipes Library are also pictures of foods we baked, according to our gluten-free recipes. The pictures across the header of this page: yes, they too are gluten-free foods we baked and took pictures of.